Senior Chief Malemia of Nsanje Under Fire Over Land
Senior Chief Malemia of Nsanje has come under fire from some farmers in his area as the traditional leader allegedly sold their agricultural land at Mchacha village, to Kalibu kwa Yesu Institute, against their will.
Meanwhile, over 20 concerned farmers have petitioned the district commissioner's office to act on the concerns, as they also allege the traditional leader sold their land at prices that were not in tandem with market value.
"It was in 2019 when local farmers were approached by traditional authority Malemia to sell their land to a well-known institution Kalibu. Most of the farmers were not willing to sell their land but changed their minds after being threatened by traditional authority Malemia.
"He told them that the land belongs to him so he will sell the land even if they deny the request, " reads part of the petition which has been addressed to the District Commissioner, and copied to Senior Chief Malemia and Kalibu Kwa Yesu Institute.
It further reads "despite farmers owning different parcels of land, they were told by traditional authority Malemia, that everyone will be given equal amount of money. This made farmers to ask traditional authority Malemia about the methodology that was used to determine land value, but they were not answered."
One of the concerned farmers Rose Saidi, from Swali village, has described as surprising that their traditional leaders made arrangements to sell land which does not belong to them.
"Why making a decision for us yet the land belongs to us?" questioned Saudi.
The farmer claims she got K330,000 against over K1 million she was supposed to pocket considering market value.
"The decision to sell my agricultural land has brought about suffering in my family. It has affected our food and income security. How can someone dictate the amount of money to be paid for my land, don't we have rights?" lamented Saidi.
Senior Chief Malemia declined to comment on the matter saying he is yet to receive the letter, saying "I can't comment on allegations."
A Pastor Navaya of Kalibu Kwa Yesu, also declined to comment on the matter saying "I am not aware of such issues."
District Commissioner, Dr. Medson Matchaya, says he will take an appropriate action once he is served with the petition.
"I haven't yet received the letter officially, whenever I see it, I will definitely act on it. I will see how best I would assist the people," said Matchaya.
Meanwhile the 25 concerned farmers have given the DC's office 10 working days from 1st October to 14th October to resolve the matter, "otherwise we are organizing to take a court injunction.”